Friday, January 24, 2014

Working on Transfers- Inspiration


     Well its the end of yet another transfer here in the OEM. The end of another 6 weeks as a missionary. Time for some changes. Time for some new people, places, and things to fall in place. Time to grow and serve better than before.
     I always feel a really special Spirit as i prepare for this sacred last few days of the transfer. As i keep my Mission President in my prayers, i am so grateful that the Lord has placed me with him and his wife, i trust them, and i am thankful everyday for all they do for me. As i have faith in the decisions he makes to move me  and push me harder than ever, i have no question that it is the will of the Lord for me.

     I've been reflecting on change a lot lately, letting the past go and embracing the opportunity to have a fresh start. What a beautiful part of our Heavenly Father's plan, that each day when the night comes and we may not have been all we could be, the Lord promises us that tomorrow we can be new. Tomorrow brings a fresh start, vivid clarity, and the ability to achieve dreams. Tomorrow is full of the kind of hope only a faith in God can bring.

     The best way to accept change i have come to conclude on my mission is by embracing it. 
     As i drove away from my beloved first area in the mission field, leaving 6 months of memories and hard work behind, i shed a few tears. Surely i'll never love anywhere like this again i said, if only i knew how wrong i was. Now almost two years and 6 areas later, there have been many repeats of that same scenario. Driving away with all your things, praying that somehow you'll make a difference in this new place you're leaving for. Praying one day it will be as special. And i know it will, if i let God change me while i'm there.

     How will you let God change you?  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Comforter

A Comforter- 

     Many times as i take a step back to look at my life, i notice the quiet influence that the Spirit has had on me of comfort. I have felt the Spirit buoy me up many times, and fill me with hope and peace, the kind of peace that Earth craves and only Heaven offers, that is one of the many roles of the Spirit.

    John 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"

     As i feel the Spirits comfort, i know that the Lord is watching over me. It provides me with a sense of belonging, a true sense of my identity as a Son of God. That God is truly my Father in Heaven and that He really loves me and cares for me. I am so grateful for his guiding influence in my life. As i have experienced the many sorrows and adversities that go along with missionary work i have often felt the Spirits influence wash over me, a quiet feeling or sense of hope. I know that this Spirit is given from God to me, to remind me that He cares. Its a big world out there and many of the things a missionary does are challenging, but nothing is impossible with God at my side. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Witness

A Witness

     As a missionary i have learned a lot of things about the 'witness' of the Spirit. It teaching me truth as i read and pray, learning the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the testifying power of the Spirit, that it lifts me and helps me to know of a surety that the things i am teaching are true.

     The Book of Mormon has been a key principle in my understanding of the witness of the Spirit. As i have read and pondered over it, i have learned to recognize the still small voice much easier. The Book of Mormon is where the foundations of my testimony are rooted. As i finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time as a full-time missionary, i felt something different from the times i had read it before. It just seemed so REAL and applicable, there was a special spirit in the apartment as i knelt and asked Heavenly Father to re-confirm my testimony of it. And now every time i read it i feel that same sweet Spirit, teaching me the truth of the words written.
     My testimony of the Book of the Restoration has been a key point in learning the 'witness' of the Spirit, and knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. It has help me come to know Him on a personal level, and given me an understanding that He is real, that He lives, and He loves us. That through Him my mistakes can be taken away. I have a strong testimony that if you want to know truth, to listen for the Spirit as you ask.
     Moroni 10:And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things.

A Guide

January 15th, 2014

     What a great day! Been busy as usual lately, i have really been focusing a lot on the Spirit lately. How it works, what it means to carry it with me all the time. It has been a big focus lately to recognize and follow the promptings of the Spirit as it guides us along in this work. What are the different forms of the Spirit, and how do they apply to me?

     A Guide-
     There have been a lot of times on my mission where i have felt the 'guiding' influence of the Spirit, leading me along and showing me the way i need to go. One particular experience comes to mind:
     I was serving in Dallas Oregon, a small town of about 10,000 people in Northern Oregon, outside of the state capital Salem. What a beautiful little town it was, i remember getting there with my brand new companion, Elder Aragon, from Massachussets. Neither of us had much experience, but we had a lot of faith, and hard work came from that desire, so we went to work and the Lord richly blessed our companionship.
     One day in particular we were out knocking on doors in the pouring rain, in Oregon there are no real rain drops, its more of a blanket of wet. You can just be soaked to the bone in a few minutes, we were out knocking doors in this, and after a few hours of no success we took off on foot for our next appointment. As we walked along, i thought to myself, maybe i need more faith, and just at that time, an alley way opened on the right side of us. Elder Aragon really paused, then opened up and said, "i feel like we should go down there." I almost said no. I was tired of knocking on doors, and surely a pitiful looking alley wasn't going to have anything in store for us. Then i was reminded of my own thoughts, have more faith. So biting back my sarcastic tongue, i agreed. Lo and behold, a little group of apartments was back there, and the first door we knocked on let us into the house to teach them. A simple truth was learned that day, never back out on following the Spirit as it guides you.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thoughts on my mission

     THE OREGON EUGENE MISSION- What a blessing for my life
     - January 10th, 2014
          Today has been a really awesome day, i have been traveling with the Mission President today. Been in Southern Oregon, i really have a love for it here. Beautiful mountains, covered in pines, dogwoods, oak, and all sorts of vegetation surround the quiet communities, shrouded in fog. All of Oregon is great but the southern part has been special to me, it's where some of my favorite experiences as a missionary have taken place. As we drove through Grants Pass yesterday, i took a deep breath and just let the memories really take hold of me while we drove up 7th street. What a blessing it was to serve in this quiet little town for 6 whole months, where i really learned to trust the Lord. I will always come back and drive these streets with a special reverence for the changes that it brought to my life, changes that will leave their mark on me forever.
         This morning I couldn't sleep anymore about 5:45, seems to be how must mornings go nowadays. I love to get up early, I feel like I'm wasting time if I sleep in to 6:30 like most missionaries. So I got up, went out in the living room and took a few minutes to kneel and pray. Such a sweet Spirit came over me as I thanked the Lord for the mission He has given me, it has been such a blessing in my life. I am so glad that i came out and decided to do my duty and serve. As i thought about the many wonderful people that i have been blessed to find and meet, my testimony of my mission grew a lot. I know that i have been doing my best, it is a great feeling. It feels so accomplishing to know that you are just trying your best, and then later on down the road, you see that you made an impact that really lasted on someone or something. I hope that's what my service here in the great OEM does, that it will leave lasting impressions on people. I hope i bless the people as much as they have blessed me!